997.6 down, 26.2 to go...
As I write this, it says 997.6 miles - that’s how far I’ve run in training over the last 17.5 weeks of this cycle. Ice, rain, sleet, snow, mud, wind - I get up, I lace up, I run. I’ve got a few more easy miles this week, and then 26.2 miles Sunday morning in Eugene as I attempt to qualify for Boston 2018. Boston - the holy grail of marathons, and the only one that requires runners to qualify. It’s been my huge goal since I started running seven years ago.
I’d like to thank the Portland waterfront, the Eastside Esplanade, the Springwater Corridor, Terwilliger Hill, Leif Erickson trail, Hollister Trail, the Nike WHQ track in Beaverton, the Lincoln High School track, the Columbia High School track in White Salmon, The Hood River waterfront, the Twin Tunnels trail, the Columbia Riverfront trail, and the Deschutes Railbed Trail - on which I’ve churned out these last 1,000 miles. Thanks to all the runners whose waves, thumbs-up, and nods acknowledge another member of the tribe on the path along the way.
I’d like to thank all the great Nike running gear that protected me from the elements in this dreadfully wet and cold Oregon winter and spring. Thanks to the Nike+ Running Club, app, and Apple Watch. Thanks to the Saucony Freedom shoes that sometimes make me feel like I could run forever.
Thanks to miracle sports-massage therapy specialist Molly Vershingel at Providence Sports Care Center for the amazing tune-ups.
Massive thanks to coach Steve Edwards, whose guidance, inspiration, and workouts have taken me to places my body never knew it go. That a 2:30-class marathoner would spend his valuable time with an old clod like me is mind-blowing. I run because I want to get the best out of myself, for sure, but also because I just don’t want to let my coach down.
Thanks most of all to my family, who by now are quite sure that all I do is run, work, and sleep. They have encouraged and supported me every mile, every morning, and listened to my endless running-related ramblings with great patience. Sometime before 11am this Sunday, I look forward to collapsing into my wife’s arms, with that long-cherished Boston Qualifier finally in my pocket. Wish me luck!